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Manchester Arena attack: Saffie Roussos’s dad blames MI5 for not tracking bomber | UK News



The father of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena terror attack has blamed MI5 for not tracking bomber Salman Abedi despite reports of him being radicalised.

Saffie Roussos, eight, was killed along with 21 other people in the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017.

Relatives of the victims have been told the inquest into their deaths could be delayed until next year due to the ongoing extradition of Hashem Abedi – Salman Abedi’s brother – from Libya.

However Andrew Roussos insists the inquest should begin now so the British government and security services can explain how the bomber slipped through the net.

Lisa had been holding Saffie's hand when the bomb went off
Saffie’s mum Lisa had been holding her hand when the bomb went off

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Roussos said: “I put the blame on MI5 and our government because they knew about him. They knew about him a long time ago and did nothing.

“They knew he went on YouTube to learn how to make a bomb, they knew he went to Libya and came back just a couple of days later.

“The blame is on them and that is why it’s so important to start the inquest to get these questions answered.

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“We’re all waiting for this inquest so we can voice our anger or our concerns or have answers to our questions and it keeps getting put back and put back and put back and we’re all exploding inside.”

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In November 2018, a committee of MPs accused MI5 of missing several opportunities to uncover Abedi’s plans.

Mr Roussos also criticised the reaction of the emergency services and the co-ordination between hospitals on the night of the attack.

He said: “It was a shambles – an absolute shambles.

“From what happened that night, the experiences that we had to go through. There was no support in place.”

Adam Lawler, whose friend Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, was one of those killed in the attack at an Ariana Grande concert, said he wanted Hashem Abedi to face justice.

He told Sky News: “I think the main thing right now that would unify a lot of people is bringing him to justice.

“I won’t say his name because he doesn’t deserve the gratification of a name, so bringing him over, putting him to justice in our system, putting him to justice in any system where he cannot harm people, he cannot be allowed to freely walk about.”

An extradition request for Hashem was granted in October 2017, but he is yet to return to the UK.

Mr Roussos is appealing to survivors and witnesses of the attack to send their accounts of the night’s events to his lawyers to build up a picture of what went wrong.

Those with any information can email [email protected]

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